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The official death of Netscape Navigator

AOL will officially pull the plug on the Netscape Web browser next week, which raises the question: Netscape is still alive? The rise and fall of Netscape is a reminder of just how quickly technology changes – and a warning to approach battles against Microsoft cautiously. Netscape was founded in 1994, and quickly won customers by providing software that made it easy for people to navigate the Internet. Netscape went public a year later and saw its stock price nearly triple on its first day of trading. At one point, the company had an $8 billion market cap and 90% of the Web browser market. But soon it all went south. Microsoft introduced its Internet Explorer browser and began eating into Netscape’s market share. Microsoft later paid AOL, which bought Netscape in 2000, $750 million to settle antitrust charges.

By the late 1990s, the handwriting was on the wall, and for the last several years the company has been little more than a footnote. Today, Netscape has less than 1% of the browser market. At the end of December, AOL announced it would stop supporting Netscape on February 1, but ended up giving the browser a one-month stay of execution. This week, the diehards who still use Netscape’s browser received a notice telling them it was time to start using either the Firefox or Flock browsers — for some reason Netscape didn’t suggest switching to Explorer – officially marking the end of an era. I remember using Netscape back in the old days when noone cared about IE, but the times of glory are definitely over.

Source: WSJ


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  1. mrborat
    February 23rd, 2008 | 10:39

    there will be blood over this

  2. hata
    February 23rd, 2008 | 10:40

    good riddance to bad rubbish

  3. tucker
    February 23rd, 2008 | 10:56

    i watched my very first internet pr0n clip with Netscape Navigator back in 1996.

  4. HollyWood
    February 23rd, 2008 | 11:03

    what a couinsedence! yesterday i switched – after 4 years using internet explorer – i switched to firefox!

    and the way it looks i’m going to stay that way!

  5. heh
    February 23rd, 2008 | 11:15

    lets hear it’s nickname for old times sake, rip nutscrape, peace nucca

  6. Poppa!
    February 23rd, 2008 | 11:15

    I learned HTML with the help of Composer. RIP Netscape – never liked the browser anyways! :(

  7. bobo
    February 23rd, 2008 | 11:22

    ahhh the good old days of netscape 3 & 4, before switching to firebird and later firefox

  8. Vapor
    February 23rd, 2008 | 11:32

    its sad that a legacy is now gone but i use firefox so im not killed over it but if firefox died there would be blood

  9. tony
    February 23rd, 2008 | 11:34

    i use firefox the others are too advertisement ridden.

  10. Dorje
    February 23rd, 2008 | 11:39

    Wow, been years since I’ve heard the word Netscape it used to be the shiznit and Microsoft was a distant second. Then suddenly netscape wouldn’t work at your favorite sites. I think by the late 90s everyone had switched, THey got Pwned by Bill Gates ffs. I fonfly recall my fancey new pc had a massive 1.2g hd, windows 95 had a zip drive for the big stuff. Spiders live it now. Anyone remember the DuckJob wave? Now that was a classic from that era

  11. baha
    February 23rd, 2008 | 12:05

    Like many others – took my first baby steps with the Netscape.. But when I discovered Opera 3.xxx, never looked back.

  12. Ole
    February 23rd, 2008 | 12:27

    It sucked under the ownage of AOL. Firefox is teh super-overrated with bad rendering engine. Get Opera.

  13. Ole
    February 23rd, 2008 | 12:27

    Real men and women use Opera!

  14. Mister X
    February 23rd, 2008 | 12:41

    netscape was never good

  15. therapix
    February 23rd, 2008 | 12:46

    Last time I used Netscape Nav. was in 1998.
    It really sucks.

  16. trunk fill of junk
    February 23rd, 2008 | 12:54

    no more netscape? i guess i’ll have to stop surfing the web and just chill with my homies on icq.

  17. TempPD
    February 23rd, 2008 | 12:56

    @ 12
    February 23rd, 2008 | 11:39

    Ya I remember DuckJob, lol :D


  18. Observer
    February 23rd, 2008 | 13:03

    Netscape HAD to slip under AOL, after all they were payed big time by M$ to do it… Lets hope Firefox never gets bought like that.

  19. cobra
    February 23rd, 2008 | 13:10

    i still remeber using the original Mozilla Browser. That was great for it’s time.

  20. Ricky
    February 23rd, 2008 | 13:15

    Firefox with greasemonkey (and many MANY other extensions) blows opera out the water.

  21. Josh
    February 23rd, 2008 | 13:25

    For all you younger kids who don’t “get it” just because AOL owns Netscape now, back in the day, Netscape was like today’s Firefox. I remember installing it for the first time in high school computer class back in 1997, and we were all super-impressed with it. It was the best kind of browser–made by geeks, for geeks. Plus back in the days when we actually wrote HTML code it NOTEPAD, it was a great browser to use to view your web pages while you were making/editing them.

  22. Futz
    February 23rd, 2008 | 13:25

    Mozilla Seamonkey (aka Debian IceApe) is based on the Netscape Communicator source code that was released way back, although quite a lot of code was rewritten and has been updated constantly. It’s still got the look of Netscape Communicator, but can handle Firefox-style extensions.

    Why anybody would ever have used an AOL version of Navigator when there’s a community developed open source one is beyond me.

    It’s at seamonkey-project dot org if anybody’s interested in a test drive.

  23. Incite
    February 23rd, 2008 | 13:31

    i remember using it back in 1996, i considered it great back then. but anything aol related is pure trash

  24. Baks22
    February 23rd, 2008 | 13:44

    haha yeah i find it funny all these ppl hating on Netscape now – they must be like 12 yrs old and never knew what Netscape was even about!

    I remember back in University – i was using Netscape and yes it really was the Firefox of its day. It was a really good browser and everyone used it. Then in came Microsoft and took away it’s market share. I guess that’s why I went to IE – simply because it was now on every PC and Netscape wasn’t.

    It’s sad to see how Netscape ended up, probably not helped by being owned by AOL who are good at screwing up stuff *cough*winamp*cough*

  25. J3ph_42
    February 23rd, 2008 | 14:04

    I still run into little old ladies at work who use this. Been trying to slowly push them towards mozilla/seamonkey, so this is good news for me.

  26. Ksawery
    February 23rd, 2008 | 14:46

    RIP netscape, thx 4 all!

  27. dekela
    February 23rd, 2008 | 15:11

    Strange.. I just saw that there was an update for Netscape of filehippo:


  28. sybull
    February 23rd, 2008 | 15:23

    I remeber my first browser….Mosaic with a 19.2kbs modem. In those days e-mail was something that was only for large corporations and would never be used in the home and it was very rare to see a company with a Web page. I remeber laughing at the first lorry I saw with a web address on it think “..why do that”.

    Do you remember your first compuserve address ?

  29. eiht
    February 23rd, 2008 | 16:17

    I do and I have wasted many hours on waybackmachine.org looking at the first websites that I remember when the web first started for public use.

  30. February 23rd, 2008 | 16:22

    Finally this thing dies, now instead of making your websites compatible with only netscape and IE, why not make them compatible with all browsers you facktards.

  31. w4r3zp1r4t3
    February 23rd, 2008 | 17:59

    In response to those advocating the switch to Opera… I just can’t say “O-pur-a” when thinking about the Opera browser. It always comes out “O-prah”. All should switch to Firefox with DownThemAll!

  32. w4r3zp1r4t3
    February 23rd, 2008 | 18:01

    I mean it ends up sounding/coming out like Oprah as in Oprah Winfrey.

  33. Poppa!
    February 23rd, 2008 | 18:36

    Jusk bcoz her name sounds like Opera u’ve chosen to stay away from THE BEST browser? Make the switch & discover the ecstasy on your own. Opera is way better than FF (I’ve not tested FF3 yet so cant comment on that)! Only thing I miss is a simple way to capture & sane SWF/FLV etc in Opera – & that’s why I still have FF occupying some space in my HDD. Without the extensions the barebone FF has nothing to offer to me.

  34. Anonymous Too
    February 23rd, 2008 | 19:16

    Netscape was my first browser as well… makes one wonder where it’d be right now, if AOL hadn’t botched it up.

  35. Anon
    February 23rd, 2008 | 19:21

    Netscape is now based off of Firefox, which is why Netscape is telling its users to switch to Firefox.

  36. Anonymous Too
    February 23rd, 2008 | 19:45

    It takes 42 Firefox extensions to match the out-of-the-box functionality of Opera. It’s also worth noting that all of them were ‘Opera-inspired’… but only a few of them have the nerve to say so.

  37. bobo
    February 23rd, 2008 | 20:09

    I don’t get what Opera lovers like about Opera … I have tried it multiple times but never lasted more than a few days before dumping it again … I cannot really pinpoint what I don’t like about Opera because I cannot really find anything to like about it in the first place. Ok ya its flashy!

    I am not a firefox fanboy, there are several things about it that tick me off, but generally it works for me. After 12+ years of web browsing I cannot really say I have used an ideal browser but at least firefox with all the extensions available (greasemonkey specifically) comes close to being ideal.

  38. Jon
    February 23rd, 2008 | 21:53

    I used Netscape extensively up till version 4.8. Then version 6.0 came out and it was just garbage. Used IE for a while until I switched to Firefox a few years ago with the 1.0 release.

  39. Pwndcuz_of_Linksys
    February 24th, 2008 | 00:42

    Netscape has launched a grassroots-style Web site and dedicated a team of engineers to shepherd the source code of the company’s Communicator client software out of corporate control and into the hands of eager developers.
    The site, Mozilla.org, aims to serve as a Netscape-branded focus point and resource center for independent developers who wish to extend and customize the Communicator code.

    Mozilla was the official, public, original name of Mozilla Application Suite by the Mozilla Foundation, currently known as SeaMonkey suite.
    In informal use it has been used in a number of ways and in combination with other phrases, though all of them have been related to the now-defunct Netscape Communications Corporation and its related application software.
    Only three things have ever formally used the term “Mozilla” alone:
    the codename for the Netscape Navigator software project
    the official name of what was re-named Mozilla Application Suite
    the Mascot of Netscape.

  40. KevIrsh
    February 24th, 2008 | 01:35

    Remember using Navigator gold in 1995 in School. Then in break time we’d beat up the english c0wards with their typical english homo sounding accents.

  41. yessuz
    February 24th, 2008 | 02:15

    My first web page was made with page composer :/


  42. yessuz
    February 24th, 2008 | 02:22

    Ya sould try Opera. As mentioned before, opera is way better that any other browser..

    And yeah – web developers should keed WEB standarts, not IE standarts :E

  43. Anderson Ilha
    February 24th, 2008 | 02:48

    I fondly remember those long hours surfing the infant internet in the Mosaic browser running on Sun SparcStations back in 1994.

    Those were the days when we put OS/2 instead of the brand new Windows 95 in our machines, used XTree Gold to disk-manage the DOS-based Windows 3.11 and had our first hands-on Linux experience on our high-performance i386/486 machines.

    Back then we hoped that programs like Netscape would play a crucial role in stopping M$ plans to world-domination. The long agonizing death of Netscape put that in a more realistic perspective. It is ironic (or prophetic) that Netscape’s final breath occurs as M$ moves to take over Yahoo.

    So long live Firefox!!! Let us wish Netscape’s successor a more happy life — and a more dignified passing.

  44. KRAM
    February 24th, 2008 | 05:27

    netscape is garbage…

  45. schumi88
    February 24th, 2008 | 06:14

    Goodnight, netscape :c

  46. jayrodathome
    February 24th, 2008 | 07:56

    watched my first dancing baby .gif on netscape

  47. goatman
    February 24th, 2008 | 11:48

    ah netscape i remember using it because for some reason i couldnt get the net to work in IE?!?! that was so many years ago. sort of sad to see it go as it was my first web browser :( ……

  48. Sefus
    February 26th, 2008 | 01:49

    Wow. I thought this happened a long time ago. People still use that crap?

  49. ogyp
    February 26th, 2008 | 22:11

    Hush all you firefox-VS-opera-guys!
    We have a funeral here! I also mae my first internet steps on Netscape on a ?-86 PC which is past now and although I had forgotten its existence, I must say I am kind of sad…
    Hats of for ole good Netscape Navigator!